September Newsletter: New Activities, Exciting Opportunities & September Spotlight

Welcome to our September newsletter. This month we’ve been reevaluating what support roles and activities would best serve the community. We’re excited about taking these forward alongside the usual services we provide and hope you will be too. A new gardening group, training for professionals & a new Own My Life cohort, read on to find out more…

Women’s Service

Active Cases 52 | Referrals 205

CYP Service

Active Cases 34 | Referrals 64

Service User Feedback & Achievements

  • Cut all ties with perpetrator
  • CYP for deciding to let mum do the worrying and trusting her to sort things
  • Now able to have CSO removed
  • Overcoming anxiety to join a group & also take charge of her future by joining the 12 week Own My Life course
  • 2 CYP who have both been able to reflect and learn from events
  • Going on holiday
  • Joining a workshop 

WAO Gardening Group

When the pained woman

and the pained earth

come together, there is almost

an unspoken contract that comes

out where they’re dedicated to


each other

from the short film Amber Tamm’s Journey to Urban farming’

Vacancies – Exciting New Opportunities at WAO!

Training Opportunity for Professionals – Own My Life

Own My Life has given me an opportunity to have something that is my own again, a safe place and source of stable comfort each week. […] Own My life has begun my new, better life

Participant in Women’s Aid Orkney’s OML course

The Own My Life course is an innovative, creative, educational 12-week course, with a 6-week follow-on course, for women impacted by domestic abuse.

We’re now offering a 1 hour taster session for professionals on Wednesday 3rd November, 11am-12pm on Teams.

  • Do you think this course might help someone you know, a client, colleague, friend or family member?
  • Would you like to understand what the course entails and how to explain it to others?
  • Are you interested in how to enable women to join the course?

Please get in touch via or

Spotlight on… Immigration Status & Domestic Abuse

Each month we’re going to look at a different topic, what is is, how to spot the signs & get help, though this information is not exhaustive. This month we’re looking at how perpetrators use immigration status as part of their abuse. The information below was taken from Queen Mary University of London’s article ‘The impact of increasing domestic violence as a result of COVID-19 on those with insecure immigration status’.

Insecure immigration status is often manipulated as a tool for coercive control against women. Victims of human trafficking and modern slavery are similarly threatened with deportation if they report abuseRefuge states that “Using victims’ fear about their immigration status to control them is a common tactic used by traffickers and perpetrators of other forms of gender-based violence.”

Queen Mary University of London

Perpetrators often use immigration/visa status as a tool of control and safeguard for themselves to carry on committing the crime of domestic abuse without fear of consequences. At risk are women who have come to the U.K. on spousal visas, student visas, refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking and those who’ve overstayed their their visa.

Their intersectionality of gender, immigration status and often race, as women of minority ethnic groups are disproportionately affected, combine to make it very difficult for women & girls to seek help. The rule of No Recourse to Public Funds means these victims cannot access publicly funded refuges and services. Often meaning these women & their children have to chose between abuse and a roof over their heads.

Getting Help


This month we learned about healthy friendships, and this is what one CYP had to say about it:

It’s fine if your friend wants to spend time with other friends, if you’re not ok with that, you’re probably not a very good friend

CYP aged 12

In Minecraft group we made some magical schools and enjoyed a dramatic story about a King who needed to do well in school to keep his status. There were lots of unique and special builds including secret entrances that could be sealed for safety and water stairs!

We also shared our thoughts about bullying and what to do if you or someone else is bullied, together we learned that bullying can make us feel: ‘scared, angry, alone, embarrassed, ashamed’. We learned that everyone has the right to be safe and respected and we should always tell a grown up we trust to help us if someone is being bullied (teacher, parent, Key Worker).

Be good to everyone

CYP aged 6

And don’t make fun of people

CYP aged 10

Respect everybody

CYP aged 12

Action for Happiness

Choose to be optimistic. It feels better

Dalai Lama
Action for Happiness – October Calendar

It can be understandable to struggle with optimism when times are challenging. Often we feel like this is how life will always be. However, building the muscle of optimism can actually help you to recover from difficult experiences. It can take practice and isn’t about just pretending things are fine when they’re not – that doesn’t help anyone! Try setting a goal to try as many of the tips above in the coming month. Whether you manage them all, one a week or one from the month, it helps to build trust that you can positively affect your present and future.

Special Thanks…

  • Jen Upson, Speyside counselling: looking after us all by providing supervision for all staff
  • Support workers, Annie & Barbara: congratulations on their new roles within the service as family/young women support worker and family support worker respectively!
  • Shona, women’s support worker: for always being such a dedicated support worker & much-loved colleague, now moving on to exciting new ventures – we wish you the best of luck!
  • Councillor John Richards: being so lovely, passionate and supportive of our gardening idea.  He longs to see the place he gardened for so many years cared for again and used by children and women.  Thank you!
  • Orkney Foodbank: always being so helpful and supportive with our SU in difficult times
  • Argyll & Bute Women’s Aid: their kind feedback on our CYP Minecraft group training and for being so open minded in finding ways to connect with CYP
  • Michelle Mackie: always providing such great support, it’s very much appreciated!

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